Who can sue for wrongful death in Florida? This is a very common internet search for those that have lost a loved one and are trying to figure out how to gain compensation for expenses incurred due to that loss. This is already an emotional and confusing time by default, but the legality of the situation can add another layer of distress that just isn’t necessary. However, knowing who can legally file a wrongful death suit is a vitally important part of the process. This simple detail can be the reason your case is dismissed without consideration. We put this blog together to help answer a commonly asked question, can siblings sue for wrongful death in Florida?
A wrongful death, specifically in the state of Florida, is defined as “when a person or entity causes other persons death by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” (Florida Statute § 768.19) This can include a variety of situations including a negligence-based accident, such as a car accident, medical malpractice, a defective product or an intentional act such as a homicide.
The state of Florida has specific requirements surrounding who can legally file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Florida law states that the “personal representative”, commonly known as an executor, of the deceased person’s estate, be the one to file the wrongful death suit. This means that unless the deceased included a sibling in their will as their personal representative, then it will be up to the courts to decide if the suit is credible. Additionally, any other potential beneficiaries will need to be listed in the deceased’s will in order to be included in the wrongful death suit compensation.
As a sibling, and direct family member, of a loved one who has died this is a particularly stressful time and avoiding legal issues can be a huge relief. If you are in the state of Florida and do not have a will and testament that details who you want your personal representative to be after death, you may be leaving family members with a legal battle that you didn’t intend for. We highly recommend meeting with an attorney and leaving specific instructions for how you intend for your estate to be managed in the event of an unexpected death.
If you or someone you know has experienced the wrongful death of a loved one and need guidance as far as how to go about receiving compensation, don’t hesitate to contact our office today!